Feb. 27, 2003
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Senior All-American Shilo Ayalon eclipsed his own school record in the 500-yard freestyle and earned all-conference honors for the fifth time in his career, as the Georgia Tech men’s swimming and diving team wrapped up day one of the ACC Championships Thursday at Koury Natatorium in fourth place.
Four-time defending champion Virginia leads with 248 points, while Florida State ranks second with 206 points. North Carolina (145) stands in third after six events. Rounding out the field are the Jackets with 141, followed by NC State (108), Clemson (106), Maryland (72) and Duke (55).
Ayalon raced to a time of 4:19.31 in the 500 free, a performance that automatically qualifies him for the 2003 NCAA Championships and surpassed his former school record by over two seconds. He finished second in the event for the second consecutive season. By meeting the automatic standard, Ayalon assures himself of a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships.
The Jackets also got a pair of NCAA “B” cuts in the 500 free from freshman Sam Morgan, who placed fifth in 4:24.60, and sophomore Matt Figh, who was seventh in 4:26.64. Both swims were lifetime bests. Junior Eduardo Oliver also scored for Tech in the 500, finishing 11th with a lifetime-best swim of 4:28.40.
Freshman Yonatan Cohen also posted a “B” cut with a time of 1:49.86 in a fifth-place swim in the 200 individual medley. Additionally, the Jackets’ 400 medley relay team placed third and posted a NCAA “B” swim with a time of 3:16.55. Sophomore Jeremy Raines led off the relay with a school record split of 48.72 in the 100 back. Senior Robbie Foster, freshman Teemu Kettunen and senior Josh Hersko rounded out the squad.
The team of Hersko, Kettunen, Raines and freshman Ryan Riebesell also earned a school record in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:21.56, which was good for sixth. In addition, Hersko, who set a school record in the 50 free in Thursday’s prelims, took 10th in the event with a time of 20.64.
Tech had a pair of divers contribute to the scoring as junior Paul McCarty (248.60) and freshman Matt Anderson (233.95) placed ninth and 13th, respectively, on the one-meter board.
Competition resumes Friday morning with prelims at 11 a.m. Tomorrow’s final session begins at 7 p.m.